The integration of math and science requires innovative techniques to encourage students to learn. This activity will allow the students to browse and search for information required to complete their project. The bridge will be designed and built by the students out of inexpensive materials such as toothpicks, tape and glue It will require the students to do a cost analysis of their project and to conceptualize how their completed project will look before having built it. The toothpick bridge can be a fun and challenging activity.
1.
Vocabulary 2. Math
Worksheet 3. Math Quiz 4.
Science Discussion Questions 5.
Contest Rules
6. Materials 7.
Build Your Bridge 8. Testing: Bridge
Breaking Activity 9. Links
1. Vocabulary
Define each word:
SCIENCE
1. truss
2. pier
3. trestle
4. cable
5. caisson
MATH
1. acute angle
2. angle
3. congruent
4. diagonal
5. edge
6. obtuse angle
7. parallel lines
8. parallelogram
9. perpendicular line
10. polygon
11. quadrilateral
12. right angle
13. straight angle
14. trapezoid
Use a ruler, protractor, and compass to complete the following to demonstrate an understanding of your vocabulary. You must complete five of the following six examples.
1) Construct two congruent angles. Label the angles as obtuse, acute,
or right.
2) Construct a parallelograms and a trapezoid. Label all the edges and
the parallel lines.
3) Construct a polygon and a rectangle that is not also a parallelogram
or a trapezoid.
4) Construct a rectangle. Label the perpendicular lines. Insert the
rectangle’s diagonals as dotted lines.
5) Construct a triangle that has one obtuse angle. Label each angle
as an obtuse, acute, or right angle.
6) Construct a straight angle.
3. Math Quiz
Complete.
1) A _____ angle has a measure of ninety degrees or less.
a) acute
b) obtuse
c) straight
d) right
e) left
2) The polygon that has four sides and one pair of parallel lines is called a _________
a) parallelogram
b) rhombus
c) trapezoid
d) square
3) Congruent figure must have
a) same size
b) same shape
c) different sizes
d) different shapes
e) both a &b
f) both c & d
4) An obtuse angle has a measure of
a) less than ninety degrees
b) 90 degrees
c) more than ninety degrees
d) 180 degrees
e) 360 degrees
5) The straight line that is formed where two faces of a polyhedron meet is called a(n)
a) edge
b) diagonal
c) perpendicular line
d) parallel line
4. SCIENCE DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Define the following engineering principles as they apply to bridges and give an example in nature.
1.BEAM
a.
b.
2.ARCH
a.
b.
3.SUSPENSION
a.
b.
4.CANTILEVER
a.
b.
5.PONTOON
a.
b.
Answer the following as completely as possible:
6.WHAT DID EARLY CIVILIZATIONS USE FOR BRIDGES?
7.WHAT WERE THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF COVERED
BRIDGES?
8.WHY WERE BRIDGES (AND TUNNELS) IMPORTANT TO RAILROADS?
9.WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON MATERIALS USED IN BRIDGE
CONSTRUCTION?
10.WHAT WAS THE PROBLEM WITH IRON BRIDGES?
11.NAME AND LOCATE THE FIRST STEEL BRIDGE IN THE WORLD.
12.WHAT CAUSED THE TACOMA NARROWS BRIDGE TO COLLAPSE?
13.NAME AND LOCATE 4 FAMOUS BRIDGES IN THE UNITED STATES...IN THE
WORLD?
14.IDENTIFY SOME BOOKS, SONGS, OR MOVIES THAT HAVE BRIDGE IN THE
TITLE
15.WHEN DID CONSTRUCTION BEGIN ON THE 4-LANE INTERSTATE HIGHWAY
SYSTEM?
16.COMPARED TO BRIDGES, WHAT ADVANTAGES DO FERRY BOATS HAVE?
(VICE-VERSA)
a.
b.
17.BRIDGES HELP TO TRANSPORT A VARIETY OF THINGS. NAME AS MANY AS
YOU CAN:
18.LOCATE AND IDENTIFY AS MANY BRIDGES AS YOU CAN IN YOUR
COMMUNITY...TOWN...CITY...STATE: Three Types, 4 bridges
5. Contest Rules
Divide yourselves into groups of four. Having researched bridge
design, you must now design and build a bridge to meet the following
criteria:
Instructions:
1. cut a piece of cardboard so it is 35 cm long and 15 cm wide.
2. Draw a 15 cm "river" in the middle of the cardboard.
3. Draw a 4 cm by 4 cm hole in the middle of the river.
4. Draw two 5 cm squares on the cardboard, as shown.
5. Design and build a truss bridge using the toothpicks and glue. The actual design of the bridge is up to you, but your finished bridge must meet the following specifications:
6. Materials
You must draw, to scale, your completed design onto graph paper. Then, you need to use the information that your completed designs provides and develop a projected cost and materials needed estimation. Follow this design "to the letter" and build your bridge from the following materials:
Toothpicks - $100.00 per toothpick
Elmer's Glue - $25,000 per bottle
Land (cardboard) - $500,000.00
Marker pen - $50.00
Clothespin - $50.00
7. Build your bridge. Remember, you must:
1. Use your blueprint.
2. Use only the materials provided (toothpicks, Elmer's glue).
3. Use only those materials accounted for in your budget.
Starting Construction
1. Start the construction with the outer support pieces.
Glue sticks together making a beam long enough to cross the river from one support to the other. Use only enough glue as needed. A drop per connection is all that is needed. Use the clothes pins to hold the wood together until the glue sets (5 minutes). It takes hours for it to dry completely, so work gently after removing clothes pins.
HINT: The more clothes pins you have to work with the faster the progress. Feel free to bring in clothes pins from home as the teacher has a limited supply.
2.. Carefully, continue to add pieces to the front of your bridge. Remember, that the sticks should be placed exactly as shown on your plans.
3.. When the front is completely finished, add to the top. If you were
careful to keep the the front pieces equal the top will be much easier.
4. Finally, add to the sides of the bridge. Glue this section good, since
this is the part of your bridge that will keep the back and forth shifting
from breaking the bridge.
HINT: Building the bridge will take several days and could get tiresome without breaks. It is suggested you take breaks.
To view a step by step construction click on this website:
http://cl.k12.md.us/bridges/bsteps.htm
8. Testing : Bridge Breaking Activity
Once bridge construction ends, testing begins. We will attach a string to a container so it hangs without tipping . You will poke a string up through the hole in the middle of the cardboard. We will use a pencil to hang the container from the bridge. We will gently add weight to the container.
How much weight will your bridge take before it breaks
under the load? Once your bridge has broken we will add the contents of
the container and the pencil. Which bridge will hold the must weight?
Will it be yours?
(Return to Overview)
Bridges Websites |
Bridge Design Tips for Kids |
Bridge Game |
Bridge Truss Designs |
Bridges : Video |
Building Big Bridges |
Nova On-line Resources: Bridges |
Super Bridge: Build a Bridge |
The Truss
Bridge |
The Toothpick
Bridge |
The Toothpick Bridge Building Contest |
Toothpick Bridge Breaking (5th grade) |
Toothpick Bridge Breaking (high school) |
Toothpick Bridges - Model Designs |
Truss Bridges: Wikipedia |
Video: Nova
On-line "Super Bridge" |